Friendship is one of the best aspects of life. That said, certain friends are certainly much better than others. A real friend and fake friend can be hard to distinguish, but they are very different! Real friends are people you can go to for anything. You know they will always be on your side, through thick and thin. Fake friends might as well be leeches for all the support they will give you.
Though in the virtual world, it is difficult to identify true friends. Never think of meeting strangers from social sites like Facebook until you know them through closer friends or common friends who never cheated you in life!
“A real friend is the one who walks in when everyone else walks out.” This anonymous quote holds infinite words of wisdom. In today’s social media society it is easy to accumulate large groups of ‘fake’ friends. Having 438 friends on Facebook does not mean you have 438 friends. Chances are you have not spoken to or seen many of these people in years, and you certainly have not been an active part of their daily lives, as they have probably not been an active part of yours.
There is nothing wrong with having acquaintances, you can have an infinite number of ‘people you know’, it is the false friendships that become an issue and toxic people who can bring harm to your life.
So how do you distinguish the difference between the two? What is an acquaintance and what is a fake friend?
The only effective way of picking out, and ridding your life of phony, fake friends is to do a close personal examination of those people that surround your life.
We all have those “friends,” the ones that bring nothing positive to our lives, the hanger-on’s, the negative Nelly‘s. Those friends that are non-supportive, that take great effort to keep close or that are overly demanding. It is these ‘friends’ that put a big strain on our goal for a happier, more positive way of living. They drain our energy and leave us feeling exhausted and empty. It is these ‘friends’ that hold us back from living our best life possible, and it is these ‘fake friends’ that we need to rid ourselves of to achieve that ideal life we long to live.
How to know real friends ?
Examine the facebook friends
One of the best places to start when you are examining your friendships is on Facebook. Take a look at your list of friends and consider how many of those people you have not spoken with (either online or in person) in the last year. What about the last six months. Three months. Now consider how many of those people you have spent physical time with. How many of them have seen your home or met your children. As you ask yourself these questions you will start to realize your friends list is not really a list of friends at all. In fact, chances are that up to 90% of the people you have on your list are not truly your ‘friends’, they are merely acquaintances or ‘people you know.’
Goal of friendship
So what do you do with this new realization? Well, that depends on your goal.
As I said earlier in this post, there is nothing wrong with having a large number of acquaintances, but be sure that you have distinguished they are simply that, acquaintances NOT friends. You now have two choices, you may choose to remove these ‘acquaintances’ completely from your life or you can utilize the advances in technology to sort them into a category of their own. Unless of course you are fine with the way things are in your life, in which case you may skip this post and carry on living your life, rock on! Thankfully, for those of you like myself and want to form some sort of boundary between friends and acquaintances, Facebook has tools to create lists and sort your friends in to different categories, if someone is merely an acquaintance you may decide you do not want them knowing the more intimate details of your life. With new filters in place on most social media sites you can sort these people, and your own posts, into appropriate lists and share only the information you see fit for the level of friendship. Identify the purpose why are you chatting or discussing with the friend, is he or she worth the time ?
The web is not the only place we are faced with ‘fake friends’. Many of our phony friendships are formed through work, school or other social situations. Perhaps you have a co-worker, old college roommate or another parent that you ‘put on the friend front’ for. False friends can be found in all areas of our lives, and we may choose to hold on to them for any number of reasons, one major reason is fear of being rude, but the truth is: Fake Friendships do not benefit anyone involved and are best broken. So get over being rude and be honest about what this ‘friendship’ really brings to your life. You might choose to be open and honest with the person or you can simply cut ties. The choice is yours and do what you are comfortable with.
If you are not sure whether a friend is actually a friend you can look at a few factors:
a) Is there equal effort being put into the relationship? b) Are they supportive? c) Do they make you feel good?
If you answered NO to any of these questions, chances are they are not truly your friends and you may want to reconsider their place in your life.
Why is this so important?
Cleaning out your friend closest has the same effect as cleaning out your clothing closet. It rids your life of negative reminders, freshens your outlook and invites positivity into your life. It is a great way to make room for real friends that will add to your life and energy, not take from or drain it.
There are clearly exceptions to every rule, do what feels right for you. It is just important for you to remember that if a person does not make you feel good, support your choices or share your desire for a happier, more fulfilling life, they may not have a place in it.
People will come and go, they will bring great lessons with them, none will be greater than learning to let them go when their lesson is complete.